My first night of 8 hours sleep in, well, I can't remember how long. So needed. I was tempted to just sleep some more. It was refreshing not to wake up famished, as I usually do on Saturdays. Probably due to ladies holiday this week. While I keep thinking that yoga is supposed to reduce my appetite, the opposite seems to be the case.
For me the phsyical cravings I need to learn to ignore are for sugar, even some raw fruits and especially dried fruit..are too much for me. I will never understand juicing. I cook for myself a lot, which helps greatly. This also allows me to indulge in 2-3 trips a week to the different farmers' markets in new york, which have to be some of my favorite things in the city.
I read a lot about how people tinker with their diets to practice ashtanga, and I have been doing this too. Today is day 1 of my attempt to do a wheat free week. I am already wheat free at home..but it is so damn hard to maintain it out and about in the city.
What I have also been thinking about lately is tinkering with the practice to adjust it to my constitution, because I want to stay a vegetarian and do this practice. If I have to eat meat (to maintain my energy levels) to do this practice, perhaps this practice, in its current state, with all the attempts at lifting up and jumping back and then jumping through is not for me.
When I started this practice, I had no previous experience as a gym rat. My previous 1 1/2 years practicing at jivamukti seemed to have little effect on my ability to do this practice. I could not even do 5 surya A's in a row without stopping to take extra breaths, and without becoming drenched in sweat. My practice has come along way (physically at least) in the past 8 months. When I started, I was very concerned with whether I could learn to complete the primary series. Now, at garbha, I am less concerned about the speed at which I am taken through the series. I need to build strength and stamina, which takes time, especially in my mid 40s. And especially if I want to do other things too. For me, this is the hardest challenge with practicing ashtanga: how much is appropriate for me. I still wonder if I am charging ahead too quickly.
So maybe the appetite that has abated a bit is the one to finish this series in a year, or ever. It is a silly goal, though hard to let go of. Do I need to learn to stand from a backbend? Yeah, it looks cool (in a slightly terrifying way), but I will not be any better as a person for it. Some postures will never happen for me, like grabbing my ankles in a backbend or possibly kapotasana.
In addition, some new appetites have developed. For instance, learning a new dance -tango. Meeting more people and maybe also doing volunteer work, if I can find something (oddly difficult in the city). My feldenkrais method training, which I (almost) accidentally started a year ago, I have come to realize, is truly a good fit for me. I still have concerns about learning it well enough to become a good practitioner. All these things developed in part from my practicing ashtanga, and are much more important to me than whether I finish primary series or intermediate, etc.